Barcelona captain remains clear about where to go from here – report


Barcelona's Uruguayan defender #04 Ronald Araujo and Barcelona's Spanish goalkeeper #13 Inaki Pena react to the opening goal scored by Athletic Bilbao's Spanish forward #12 Gorka Guruzeta during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) quarter final football match between Athletic Club Bilbao and FC Barcelona at the San Mames stadium in Bilbao on January 24, 2024.
Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

After an encouraging victory against Real Betis last weekend, FC Barcelona had to endure a painful defeat last night as they were eliminated from the Copa del Rey by Athletic Club.

The loss last night was inarguably painful and bitter, and the Barcelona dressing room is expected to be negatively impacted by it as Copa del Rey was one of the trophies that Barcelona had a more realistic chance of winning.

In fact, as SPORT has noted, one of the team’s captains, Ronald Araujo, admitted that the defeat was a blow for the team: “It was sad to be eliminated; we wanted to fight for this title.”

Araujo also analyzed the match and mentioned some of the reasons for Barcelona’s loss:

“Athletic is a great rival, even more so on their field, where the fans push a lot. I take away that we competed at all times. We had many absences; young players had to play many minutes… but still, we showed character.”

The center-back rued the action that allowed Athletic Club to go ahead in the first half of the extra time:

“We lacked the goal in extra time, and perhaps we could have been smarter in the 3-2 action, as there was only one minute left in the first half of extra time.”

Despite this setback, the defender was keen to keep on fighting for the remaining titles that the team is contending for:

“It’s always a tough blow to be out of a competition, but we have to keep fighting. There are two competitions left, La Liga and the Champions League. Napoli is coming up, we have home games now… We have to keep going and find good feelings.”

Lamine Yamal scored the goal to put Barcelona ahead in the first half of the game but missed two golden chances latter which could have turned the balance of the game in his team’s favor. However, Araujo understood how it was difficult for the 16-year-old:

“It’s a shame that he missed those two chances, but there’s nothing to blame. He’s only 16 years old, and surely many more goals will come.”

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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